Category Archives: Interior Design

7 Tips for Designing a Kitchen to Make Your Life Easier

7 Tips for Designing a Kitchen to Make Your Life Easier

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home.  It’s a place to enjoy good food with family and friends.

It’s also  one of the busiest rooms in the home.

That’s why when a kitchen is cramped or outdated it can really cause a lot of frustration. We have all been to a family holiday where all the women in the family are bumping elbows trying to hustle and work together to prepare the meal.

The good news is that a kitchen redesign can help you create the perfect space for your family.

Here’s 7 tips for a well-designed kitchen for your home:

  1. Improve Function. A kitchen that worked for your family a few years ago might not work for your family today.  Or perhaps you’ve moved into a home where they kitchen just doesn’t work right for you.

    The most important principle of kitchen design is the triangle:  The sink, stove, and refrigerator are the three greatest areas of activity in the kitchen.  It’s critically important to keep a path that is quick, direct, and without obstacles to and from these locations.

  2. Add Storage. A good plan puts everything you need at your fingertips, exactly where you need it.

    Over time a family accumulates more tools, gadgets, appliances, and pans.  It’s important to have the right spaces to store heavily used items where they are handy.

    This is where a kitchen designer can help.  They can see where your biggest storage needs are and design handy spaces to hold these items.  This creates a space for everything and you can keep everything in its place.

    Plus a designer can add in some spaces to tuck away those “less used” items for big family holiday meals.

  3. Install Convenience. Today there are so many ways to modernize your kitchen for the way you live.

    Wine aficionados can add a wine fridge.  Families with children can place a microwave in the island where it’s easy to each.  Women who bake and entertain a lot can install double ovens.

    The sky is the limit for design options to make your life easier!

  4. Rev up the counter space. There’s nothing worse than a kitchen that lacks counter space.

    You need areas to perform tasks such as prep stations, a coffee area, a place to set groceries when you walk in.  You’ll need counter space near the fridge and the oven.

    Make sure there is adequate space by the kitchen sink for dishes and food prep. Adding an island can add more work space as well.

  5. Make outlets accessible. In today’s world of coffee makers, toaster ovens and juicers it’s nice to have easy access to an outlet.

    One great part of redesigning your kitchen is you can add electrical outlets where you need them. Make sure outlets are available wherever you would plug in small appliances.

  6. Create a desktop space. A built-in desk supports a busy family’s planning needs.

    It provides a place to put the mail, keys, bills and calendar.  Adding a cork board or chalkboard can add some extra functionality for family notices and reminders.

  7. Don’t skimp on cheap cabinets. You need cabinets with a solid finish that will hold up to being cleaned.  Plus you need solid hinges that hold up to the wear and tear of opening/closing cabinet doors.

    It’s worth investing in solid cabinetry that will stand the test of time.

Get ideas from the pros! Consulting with a professional designer can help you plan a space that meets your needs.  They can look at the needs of your family and design a room that fits your lifestyle and tastes.

You wouldn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a new kitchen only to find out you made a mistake.  A pro can ensure that your dream kitchen becomes a reality. If you live in the Calgary area, give us a call for a design or renovation consultation!

8 Easy Ways to Make a Small Space Feel Bigger

Small room with cramped furniture

When you have a small room, you want to make the most of it. 

No one likes to feel cramped and overwhelmed in a space. So what are the best ways to utilize a small space to make it beautiful and functional?

Below are some designer tips to take your small space and make every square inch count.

  1. Go Vertical. Finding places to store items and display decorations can be challenging in a small space.  That’s where taking advantage of the vertical space can help!

    Place floating shelves on the wall. Purchase a modular storage unit for the home office, laundry room, or a child’s toy room. Place an entertainment center in the living room. Use a china cabinet in the dining room. 

    Try a baker’s rack in the kitchen. Add space to your child’s bedroom with a loft bed that leaves space for a desk underneath. Use a floor-to-ceiling bookcase to draw the eye up and keep small items organized.

    Tip – keeping shelving colours the same as the walls will help it blend in.

  2. Switch out your table lamp for a floor lamp. It will free up table space.

    Plus, the floor lamp will shine the light upward making a huge impact on the ambiance of a room.

  3. Invest in furniture that multi-tasks. Convertible furniture is extremely practical in small spaces. A murphy bed is a clever way to make a studio apartment work double time as a living space and sleeping space.

    A sofa bed can serve as an extra guest bed. A coffee table that swings up to become a desk can become an instant work space. A trunk can serve as a coffee table and storage for extra blankets.

  4. Choose a monochromatic colour. Using a monochromatic colour scheme can often make a small space appear much larger. Simple, neutral and monochromatic colour schemes will visually expand the space.
  5. Keep a clean line of sight. Link adjoining rooms with the same flooring and wall colour. Nothing should block the view into a room and to open spaces.
  6. Select a few bigger pieces versus lots of small ones.   One large piece instead of several small pieces actually decreases the look of clutter and makes a room feel bigger.

    Try to create a focal point with one prominent item or feature that will draw attention.

  7. Edit your display pieces. Think minimalist. Having too many items on display makes a space feel cluttered. Go for a select few decorations that are bigger.

    Arrange items by colour. Keep table tops and shelves tidy. If you have favorite décor you’ll miss, consider storing and switching out pieces periodically for a fresh look.

  8. Stack, fold, and tuck away. Folding furniture is usually a great option for small spaces. It takes up very little space when not in use.

    Stackable side tables take very little space and can be pulled out when needed. A dining table with a fold out leaf makes instant space for dinner guests. A stack-able washer and dryer can expand a laundry room. A folding kitchen island makes extra prep space. A convertible desk can fold up into a wall or be hidden inside an armoire.

Small spaces can be beautiful and functional too!  Hopefully these designer tips help you to make your small space feel much bigger!

Do you have a small space challenge? Write a comment below and we’ll help!